Events Mark World AIDS Day Observance at CSU

COLUMBUS, Ga. -- While World AIDS Day is observed globally on Saturday, Dec. 1, Columbus State University will commemorate the occasion with a series of events that kick off two days earlier and are free and open to the public.

Programs will feature an international-level expert as a guest speaker, a poster display of HIV/AIDS-related student research projects, a movie screening and a Saturday-afternoon variety program in Fine Arts Hall, including live entertainment and informational video presentations.

• The opening program will feature Myriam Vuckovic from the faculty of Georgetown University’s International Health Department. She will give a talk on “Current Issues and Major Challenges in Global HIV/AIDS Control” from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29 in CSU’s International House at 6 Clearview Circle. The presentation will assess the world community’s commitment to provide universal access to HIV prevention, care, treatment and support by 2010 and to reverse the course of the epidemic by 2015.

Prior to joining Georgetown in fall 2006, Vuckovic directed “AIDS Control in Companies in Africa,” a two-year project of German Technical Cooperation (a German government-led international enterprise) that developed HIV/AIDS workplace policies and programs in Namibia, Kenya and Tanzania.

• Later the same day in the International House, a 7 p.m. screening of the 2003 film “Beat the Drum” depicts the journey of a South African boy, newly orphaned by a mysterious disease, from his tribal village to Johannesburg. His experiences reveal the painful reality of AIDS in post-Apartheid South Africa and concludes with a homecoming that brings knowledge about the disease that tribal elders failed to understand.

• Film and lecture audiences also can view HIV/AIDS-related research posters depicting the work of 40 CSU students in the First Year Learning Community course “Gaining Global Awareness: A World Without Borders Community.” The posters will be displayed in the International House throughout the day.

• Concluding World AIDS Day activities at CSU will be a “World AIDS Day International Benefit Celebration” from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 in Fine Arts Hall. This family-oriented event will include live music and dance interspersed with educational video presentations that demonstrate the severity of the AIDS pandemic. Musical acts will include the Hardaway High School Band, The Scoundrels and CSU’s Genesis gospel choir. Dance exhibitions will feature CSU’s Versatile Dance Co. and a step performance by CSU Alpha Phi Alpha members.

Sponsors of the Saturday event are CSU’s Eta Sigma Gamma health education professional honor society and the Columbus Department of Health. There is no admission fee, however donations will be accepted to benefit the health department’s district clinical services program. For more information call 706-568-2283 or 229-977-3711 or e-mail walker_paula@ColumbusState.edu or davis_victoria@ColumbusState.edu.

Thursday program sponsors are CSU’s University College, Center for International Education, Honors Program and Department of History and Geography. For more information, call Amanda Rees at 706-565-3634 or e-mail rees_amanda@ColumbusState.edu.